Isaac Hull’s Seal
Captain Isaac Hull owned this gold fob, which enclosed his personal seal, an image of USS Constitution above the inscription “I. Hull” carved in carnelian, a hard precious stone. Wax seals began as means of certifying documents, but personal seals became more common among the affluent and influential in the 18th and 19th centuries. For Hull, this seal served as a means of authenticating his correspondence and ensuring that letters remained unopened and unread in transit. In addition to these practical uses, the seal also emphasized his reputation as the victorious commander of USS Constitution. The hole at the top of the fob allowed it to be attached to a chain and worn at the waist.